I wasn’t sure which paragraph to quote here from the new book by Rebbetzin Yemima Mizrachi. There are endless thought-provoking ideas in it about the High Holidays.
Here is something small, but basic, about the words “Remember us for life,” which we say many times this month:
“In Hebrew, the word for ‘life,’ chayim, is plural because life is always a social concept. I know this point of view is not popular. We are raised on ‘Do something for yourself! Now it’s your turn! You deserve it! Only do what you like!’
“But our right to exist in this world is not based on satisfying ourselves. It’s dependent to a large extent on our being social creatures who comfort others, make others happy, and are attached to others.
When we say, ‘Remember us for life,’ we mean: Remember us because we live for others around us, and not just for ourselves. Our face is directed towards others – towards our spouse, our children, our neighbors, our parents, the people of Israel….
“Our request is: Please give me life so that I can fulfill a meaningful role in the world. I still have so much to give, and so many people to give to.”